Analysis of Canada’s reformed merger review process

Author: | Published: 31 May 2012

It has now been more than three years since significant amendments to Canada's Competition Act and Investment Canada Act (ICA) came into force in March 2009. These included several changes that were expected to transform the merger review and foreign investment review processes in Canada.

Now with the benefit of three years experience under the new regime, it is clear that the amendments have transformed the process of merger review under the Competition Act. Parties to mergers now more routinely face detailed document and information-intensive reviews and an increasingly strict approach to review and approval is taken by Canada's Commissioner of Competition (Commissioner).

By contrast, the effect of the 2009 amendments to the ICA has been quite limited. Regulations to replace the current review thresholds with enterprise value-based thresholds have not been proclaimed and, as a result, the review threshold calculation has remained the same. Additionally, the government has been...